A few days ago, MLB’s Twitter account asked the kind of hard hitting question that has been keeping us all up at night for years. Who would win in a home run derby between San Francisco Giants icon Barry Bonds and . . . uhh . . . /check’s notes . . . the Los Angeles Dodgers Cody Bellinger?
Now don’t get me wrong, Bellinger is a phenomenal talent coming off a 47-home run season in which he won MVP, which puts him only six MVPs away from catching Bonds. And it’s not MLB’s fault . . . they’re just running a tournament of sorts, and thankfully 84.8% of their fans took the question seriously and voted for Bonds.
But it made me wonder: Who would you like to see Bonds face in a historical home run derby, where you could pit him against anyone in any year?
I came up with three choices:
- Willie Mays, for all the obvious reasons.
- Mike Trout, because he seems to be the only player of this era who sees the game in the genius manner that Bonds did, and the only player of this era that has a claim to the GOAT throne, which Bonds also has a claim to.
- Giants franchise legend Miguel Tejada, who beat Bonds in the 2004 home run derby (Lance Berkman and Rafael Palmeiro also finished ahead of Bonds).
Bonds also finished fourth in 2001, behind Luis Gonzalez, Sammy Sosa, and Jason Giambi. And he finished tied (with Alex Rodriguez!) for sixth in 2002, behind Giambi, Sosa, Paul Konerko, Richie Sexson, and Torii Hunter.
So, uhh . . . maybe he wouldn’t beat Bellinger after all. Home run derbies are weird.
On that note . . .
Did Barry Bonds hit a home run today?
Why of course.
June 3, 2000: Against the Oakland A’s, Bonds hit 2 solo home runs off of Tim Hudson. A first inning shot gave the Giants a 1-0 lead, while a 5th inning bomb gave them a 4-3 lead. But they would lose 9-7. They were his 21st and 22nd homers of the year.
June 3, 2003: Against the Minnesota Twins, Bonds hit a solo home run in the 4th inning off of Joe Mays. It cut the Giants deficit to 3-1, and they would lose 6-4. It was his 14th homer of the year.
- Grant Brisbee reminisces about the Giants signing Pat Burrell to a minor league contract 10 years ago (The Athletic, subscription required)
- Alex Pavlovic on Gabe Kapler’s happiness that players are speaking up against racism (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Maria Guardado ranks the top five left-handed pitchers in franchise history (MLB)
- Alex Pavlovic on what the 2019 Giants would have looked like with a shortened season (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Dalton Johnson on Mike Krukow’s comments regarding police brutality (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Melissa Lockard breaks down the top MLB draft prospects from Northern California (The Athletic, subscription required)
- Dan Szymborski on how a giant tournament could be better than a 50-game season (Fangraphs)
- Bruce Jenkins remembers 2002, so read at your own risk (SF Chronicle)
I hope you enjoy your Wednesday, and stay safe.